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Mortgage Default during the U.S. Mortgage Crisis

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  • THOMAS SCHELKLE

Abstract

Which theory can quantitatively explain the rise in mortgage defaults during the U.S. mortgage crisis? This paper finds that the double‐trigger hypothesis, which attributes mortgage default to the joint occurrence of negative equity and a life event such as unemployment, is consistent with the evidence. By contrast, a traditional frictionless default model strongly overpredicts the increase in default rates. This paper provides microfoundations for double‐trigger behavior in a model where unemployment causes liquidity problems for the borrower. This framework implies that mortgage crises may be mitigated at a lower cost by bailing out borrowers instead of lenders.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Schelkle, 2018. "Mortgage Default during the U.S. Mortgage Crisis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 50(6), pages 1101-1137, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jmoncb:v:50:y:2018:i:6:p:1101-1137
    DOI: 10.1111/jmcb.12546
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    Cited by:

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    2. Bekiros, Stelios & Nilavongse, Rachatar & Uddin, Gazi Salah, 2020. "Expectation-driven house prices and debt defaults: The effectiveness of monetary and macroprudential policies," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 49(C).
    3. Christopher L. Foote & Paul S. Willen, 2018. "Mortgage-Default Research and the Recent Foreclosure Crisis," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 10(1), pages 59-100, November.
    4. Kristopher Gerardi & Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Lee E. Ohanian & Paul S. Willen, 2018. "Can’t Pay or Won’t Pay? Unemployment, Negative Equity, and Strategic Default," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(3), pages 1098-1131.
    5. Andreas Fuster & Paul S. Willen, 2017. "Payment Size, Negative Equity, and Mortgage Default," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 167-191, November.
    6. Carlos Garriga & Lowell R. Ricketts & Don E. Schlagenhauf, 2017. "The Homeownership Experience of Minorities During the Great Recession," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 99(1), pages 139-167.
    7. Vaclav Broz & Evzen Kocenda, 2019. "Mortgage-Related Bank Penalties and Systemic Risk Among U.S. Banks," Working Papers IES 2019/25, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Sep 2019.
    8. Slaymaker, Rachel & O'Toole, Conor & McQuinn, Kieran & Fahy, Mike, 2018. "Monetary policy normalisation and mortgage arrears in a recovering economy: The case of the Irish residential market," Papers WP613, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    9. Aaron Hedlund & Carlos Garriga, 2016. "Mortgage Debt, Consumption, and Illiquid Housing Markets in the Great Recession," 2016 Meeting Papers 1564, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Christopher L. Foote & Lara Loewenstein & Paul S. Willen, 2018. "Technological Innovation in Mortgage Underwriting and the Growth in Credit: 1985-2015," Working Papers (Old Series) 1816, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    11. Pavan, Marina & Barreda-Tarrazona, Iván, 2020. "Should I default on my mortgage even if I can pay? Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 110(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

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